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High-level meet deliberates on ways to end N Goa water woes

Panaji: In order to address the water scarcity problem in the state, more particularly in those North Goa areas, which are affected by the floating tourist population visiting the North Goa beach belt, the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday chaired a high-level meeting, and deliberated on measures to be taken up to overcome the same, including improving upon the available water resources.Minister for Public Works Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar, Minister for Water Resources Vinod Palyekar, Minister for Rural Development Agency Jayesh Salgaonkar and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo also participated.Later, speaking to this daily, the Minister for Public Works said that the meeting was convened to address the water scarcity problem in Goa and finding a long-term solution for the same, say, for the next 25 to 50 years.
“We have found that there is a shortfall in the supply of potable water to North Goan areas such as Porvorim, Saligao, Calangute, Mapusa, Aldona and Tivim,” he observed, pointing out that setting up new water filtration plants to increase the necessary water supply is not the solution, as there is a need to upgrade the water resources. Speaking further, Dhavalikar said that if one considers the population of North Goa, the water supplied should have been adequate. “However, it is seen that throughout the year, floating population, especially the floating tourist population visits or resides in the North Goan beach belt, in turn utilising the water supplied to the local residents,” he maintained, noting that the floating population in the North Goa beach belt is ever increasing.The Minister for Public Works also said that a beach village like Calangute has around 5,000 hotel rooms, where the average occupancy is between 60 per cent and 80 per cent. “Now, this inflates the population existing in Calangute four times,” he mentioned, observing that this is the exact reason why artificial water scarcity has been created.Dhavalikar finally said that although no modalities have been worked out to resolve the problem, such future meetings would decide on as to how the available water resources in the state should be improved. [NT]

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